The Word Nerd Café featuring the remarkably talented Moletlanyi Tshipa presents an evening of poetry this coming Saturday (March 31st).
The not to be missed show is slated to take place at the Lopkel Restaurant located at the Main Mall. The intimate event is conceptualised by none other than Gilbert House Management.
Besides poetry, guests can look forward to highlights that include a vegetarian meal, music and books exchanges. According to Gilbert’s House Director, Mandisa Mabuthoe, the event is inspired by their love for words.
They found that there are social clubs for drinkers or sportsmen or dancers but nothing really for those who want to listen to what they call conversational volume music, read a book or listen to some spoken word.
“So we imagined such a place and have begun to create it,” she explains.
The event is ideal for mature and youth who like intellectually stimulating spaces. Audience can look forward to exclusivity since the space takes a limited number of people hence making it conducive for an intimate and interactive experience.
Besides the performance, guests can look forward to meals prepared by Lopkel Restaurant on the day of the event that are made especially for the theme of the day. “This month for instance because our featured poet Tshipa is vegetarian we are honouring him by having a vegetarian based menu.
“Each ticket comes with a meal. Our resident Deejays play music that is deliberately selected for a soulful lounge ambience that carries conscious messages. We call it conversational volume music. This is the space where our featured Dee Jays get to bring out their rare collection,” she says.
Tshipa is a founding member of the trailblazing Exodus Live Poetry Movement that brought life to the local poetry scene. He is an acclaimed poet who many of the ambassadors, and spoken word champs see as one of the pioneers of the Gaborone Spoken Word Scene says Mabuthoe.
“Along with being an excellent artist, Tshipa is also an excellent academic.
The poet is also a Theoretical Physicist who holds an MSc and lectures at the University of Botswana,” she says. In terms of what he is cooking for poetry lovers, they are just as curious as any other and so excited to get to see what he has to share.
“With a whole hour of Tshipa we look forward to a closer experience of his poetry and a glimpse into his journey as an artist, scientist and local gem. We look forward to celebrating and drawing inspiration from him,” she says.
Established in 2016, Gilbert’s House is an Arts Management and Administration organisation.
The organisation’s tagline is Teach Feed Heal and their experience has shown them that Art and Culture has the power to educate, uplift and sustain communities. “Gilbert’s House achieves this by way of different creative programmes that range from education to entertainment,” explains Mabuthoe.
Mabuthoe is confident that local talent resource is amazing in the global sense. She notes that some of the local poets have represented the country on regional and international stages. But she says that more still needs to be done in order to tilt the scales further for the industry.
“The momentum of the local poetry scene, however, needs to be brought back. To elevate the craft to next level poets must keep motivating to find creative ways to make the culture both fulfilling and sustainable.
The hip-hop spoken word movement (Warzone) is a good example. The artists found a way to sharpen their craft and build a following by using the craft,” says Mabuthoe.
The Word Nerd Cafe started as part of a Gilbert’s House programme called The Word Nerds Club. It first featured as an installation at the Maitisong Festival. They partnered with the National Library to create a space for Word Lovers (whether literary or spoken) to hang out, workshop, read and exchange books.
During the event, they featured a reading by Barolong Seboni and a book launch by Singapore based Indian writer Shivaji Das.